Release: June 16, 2017
In Rough Night, an edgy R-rated comedy, five best friends from college (played by Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz) reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amidst the craziness of trying to cover it up, they’re ultimately brought closer together when it matters most.
Lucia Aniello & Paul W. Downs
Paul W. Downs
Paul W. Downs
Directed by: Jeffrey Blitz
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori, Wyatt Russell and Amanda Crew
2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
If you’ve ever found yourself as the party guest who has been invited to the party but can’t be super involved due to the placement of your table, then you’ll understand why this movie was made. It was made for all the odd men out who have watched all of the festivities from afar. So far away in some cases that you can barely even say you were there! You were practically scuttled off into another room or the hallway, at least this is how you begin to feel. If you have ever sat and scanned the table in which you’re seated and noticed you’re at a table full of strangers rather than with those who invited you, and your tablemates seem not to fit in with the other guests, you need to do one thing… examine why you’re at that table, too. Consider this movie a wake-up call if you’ve ignored this happening to you, especially if it has happened more than once.
Writers Mark and Jay Duplass have either been there or have put people there; waaay back there at Table 19 because they certainly hit the nail on the head as to how a guest would feel when realizing they’ve been relegated to the outskirts of a given gala or celebration. They did a good job writing a script that empowers anyone who has felt shunned in this manner. At a lost, distant table, one can find hope, friendship and maybe love, if they just open their minds to it. I liked how it championed for those who should have checked no on their RSVP, but the movie goes out of its way to make a few characters likable that just aren’t.
It starts off well, revealing Eloise’s’ (Kendrick) reason for being at the bad table. She’s the ex-girlfriend of the bride’s brother, Teddy (Russell), and now ex-maid of honor. One by one, explanations for the other characters at the table are established. They’re even accompanied by flashbacks. We have some witty banter which at times, especially when dispatched by Walter (Stephen Merchant), have you laughing and at other times has you feeling sorry for this group of misfits, which isn’t good when you made your way to the theatre, promised a comedy, and are having a hard time finding a reason to chuckle. It is labeled on IMDB as a comedy, drama but who are we kidding?! Duplass writing for this cast?! I’ll not highlight that too soon. Back to the characters.
Jo (Squibb) is a sweet old woman who all but raised the bride and is being treated horribly by her today. Rezno (Revolori) is an incredibly obnoxious and extremely unfunny virgin who figures, along with his mother, this is where he can land a drunken, foolish young woman to be his first. Drunk and foolish is what she’d have to be because no one in their right mind would be into this awkward nightmare of a character. Rezno was simply too far out to be believable and I thought the film would have been so much better had he not been a part of the story. Kudrow and Robinson are Bina and Jerry, a couple who has been married for years and are falling out of love. Though at a wedding, they don’t find it an issue at all to air their differences in front of everyone.
I liked some of what was going on. I can’t say that if you enjoy a character driven story that you shouldn’t watch this one but there is a lot wrong with Table 19. It, at times, shows real promise. The characters grow and you’re genuinely happy about that. I was having fun watching these flakes get to know each other and also wanting to help one another through the vexing situation they realize they’re all in but at times I actually found myself looking around the theatre to make sure I knew the location of the emergency exit. It was all over the place with what kind of movie it wanted to be.
I think had the writers focused on one genre, director Jeffrey Blitz (The Office and Parks and Recreation) would have had a much better script to work with. Choosing drama over comedy then switching back and… my head is spinning!! It got a little frustrating. Sure there’s comedy in misery but it was anguishing watching how miserable some of these poor things are. For Squibb, Robinson and Merchant, I’d say watch this when it hits cable. It isn’t a terrible waste of your time. But be sure you’re in the mood for a comedy, I mean, be sure you’re in the mood for a drama… well, you get the drift. When you don’t know what you want to see, seat yourself at Table 19. Sometimes that’s where you just find yourself being put but maybe you won’t mind being there.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL Comedy Release: May 19, 2017 Director: David Bowers Producers: Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson Cast: Jason Ian Drucker, Charlie Wright, Owen Asztalos, Tom Everett Scott, Alicia Silverstone SYNOPSIS In DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL, based on the record-breaking book series, a family road trip […]
Directed by: Richie Keen
Starring: Charlie Day, Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Dean Norris, Christina Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert and Kumail Nanjiani
Run Time: 1H 31min
2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
On the last day of the school year, all hell is breaking loose on school grounds. Students, especially those in the senior class, are playing pranks on all the members of the staff. They’re hiding things from their teachers, gluing items to their desks and getting down and dirty in an attempt to no doubt make their final high school day memorable… and possibly one-up the class that came before them. They’re especially cruel to Principal Tyler, Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris, even going so far as to disassembling his car and putting it back together again inside the school. There’s a lot going on in the background so don’t forget to pay close attention to what these wild youngsters have committed themselves to doing. Director Richie Keen, (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) spent the time looking up ways to make this realistic by researching pranks done by real students in the past. You’ll appreciate this attention to detail.
If you’re a fan of silly comedies, a fan of Charlie Day especially, you’ll want to check this out. He does an exceptional job portraying the kind and fair English teacher, Andy Campbell. When he rats on another teacher who loses his cool during class, Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), he is challenged to a fist fight and is now a man on the edge of a meltdown. This is a comedy, right? Well, the anger that comes from Strickland is so intense that you end up more or less feeling extremely sorry for Campbell which makes it hard to laugh to a large degree. Some may think this doesn’t work well for a comedy. Also, as far as character development goes, we never see any redeeming qualities coming from Strickland which may have helped you not dislike his character so much but unfortunately, as hard as you dig to find out where this anger is coming from, there’s simply nothing there.
Most eggs in Keen’s comedy basket relied on Day’s comedic abilities to hatch, both in a physical sense and how he conducts himself when he’s under pressure. His strained voice is always worth a chuckle and it’s a blast observing him try to save his butt. It’s also heartbreaking watching him; knowing the reason why the poor thing is running all over the place. He goes to teacher after teacher and even calls 911, looking for a helping hand. Some teachers he approaches are comedy gold. Allow me to first mention one character that shouldn’t have existed at all and that’s Christina Hendricks’, Ms. Monet. She comes out of nowhere and should have stayed there. She really only served one purpose and not very well at that. Keen did bring on Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) to be the stereotypical, simpleminded coach whose work here you’ll dig. He also cast the witty Jillian Bell (Brides Maids) as Holly, the guidance counselor who can’t wait until certain students she’s been ogling from afar become legal and Kumail Nanjiani as a security guard who’s afraid of his own shadow. These faculty members may have special talents in their own right but are of no use when it comes to advising someone on how to take a butt-whoopin’ or especially how to avoid it from happening. Campbell must solve this mystery on his own.
A charming piece of the story is by way of the lesson Campbell learns. I’m not speaking only of Andy but also of his daughter Ally (Alexa Nisenson). In the same way that he is dealing with a bully at work, we are introduced to this character who is discovering life to be miserable at her own school. When she finds the willpower to face her demons, by using a mic and the song I Don’t Give a F*ck by Big Sean, in a way you won’t soon forget, the movie finds the reason to be and is far better for it. When Campbell finally musters the strength to confront Strickland, Keen presents a fist fight that will allow you to forgive most of the jokes you saw coming and some of the unnecessary gags that didn’t work. When you see this, you’ll have fun picking out the obvious nods to films Keen must have liked, as well as his use of certain shots from them you may recognize. All of this notwithstanding I can’t promote you pay to see this opening weekend at the theatre unless you make it a matinee. Ultimately, the film has a good message regarding Campbells’ predicament. He was always walked on and treated as though his opinion didn’t matter but standing up to this challenge makes him a better man and, at long last, a better teacher.
Subsequently, whether he wins the fight or he loses doesn’t matter… it’s all about the journey that he takes. By the way, stay for the outtakes at the end.
DEAN In Select Theaters June 2, 2017 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, The Founders Award For Best Narrative Feature Written & Directed By: Demetri Martin Cast: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs, Mary Steenburgen, Reid Scott, Rory Scovel, Christine Woods, Ginger Gonzaga, Peter Scolari, Briga Heelan Producers: Giles Andrew, Demetri Martin, Elliot Watson, Jessica Latham, Charles […]
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is in theaters May 26, 2017 in 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D! Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack […]
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani and “Nellie”
Run Time: 1h 58mins
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Romance
4 ½ out of 5 Frames
By: Shari K. Green
“Paterson” is an absolute pleasure to witness. One feels honored to be on this… ride. I say this because it is about a bus driver whose story is delicate, even delectable. It’s fascinating. Jim Jarmusch turns a seemingly banal and simple life into a complex, contemplative introspective. Paterson (Driver) drives a bus for the city of Paterson, N.J. but he’s also a poet. His hero is William Carlos Williams and deep within he holds a dream to be as good as Williams yet never calls himself a poet, therefore stopping any disappointment that may come from negative criticism.
Paterson sees poetry in all things and one of the factors that has you treasure experiencing this life that Jarmusch has displayed for you is how you absorb Paterson’s poetry. It’s not only spoken by him, whether in his thoughts as he cruises through traffic, or as he walks his dog Marvin (played charmingly by Nellie), but we also see it scrolling across the screen as he speaks in a composed and knowing tone. It becomes visually embedded in our minds and we crave more. His poems are perceptive, analytical at times, logical and illogical. They’re both abstract and they’re ordinary but they’re sublime. He writes these poems in a notebook, one he keeps to himself, careful they can never be seen.
We are with Paterson for a week of his life. He has a girlfriend, has a dog and is methodized, unlike girlfriend Laura (Farahani), who is all over the place. A painter obsessed with the color black one minute, a baker the next; him a structured poet, her a musician… this week, anyway. The relationship is sound as they balance each other, or so it would seem… perhaps not? Do they love each other or are they just putting up with one another for convenience sake? Upon reflection, you realize there’s much more going on than you first thought. It can be slow in moments but the movie consumes you, more or less. It is, simply put, poetic. Once you’ve seen “Paterson” it will stick with you for quite some time. The alpha male battle he has with Marvin, also the conflict within himself over what or who he is, is gripping to observe. Driver does such a remarkable job of bringing levels to this character without nearly uttering a word that he seduces you. I highly recommend you see this film. You’ll never see Driver as Kylo Ren again.